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#167149 06/06/09 09:18 PM
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lmoore Offline OP
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Hey guys,
I have been doing some research on a minnow species that is common in my area, the brassy minnow. I have a bridge nearby where I can take a small nt and catch literally hundreds of them. They pile up in a small backwater area under the bridge and it's almost like scooping them directly out of a livewell. Has anyone ever used these minnows in a pond? I ask because the Iowa DNR says they associate closely with the fathead minnow.
Iowa DNR: Brassy Minnow

lmoore #167164 06/06/09 09:51 PM
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I wonder how tolerant they are of pH changes? I see where they prefer acid water. But, from what I've read they seen to do OK in ponds and Brook Trout love them. They're sold as bait too.


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esshup #167285 06/07/09 06:10 PM
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I don't have any experience with brassy minnows as they are not found in the areas I have lived or visit family... From reading about them, they sound like they would adapt to pond life but prefer low gradient streams. Other links indicate they handle predation poorly which is similar to the fathead minnow. I am not sure if they would have any advantage of the fathead minnow. If you can get a large number of them for free by collecting them you can certainly take advantage of it. Be careful though, wild caught fish often carry disease and parasites and you don't want to introduce those into your pond...

CJBS2003 #167327 06/07/09 09:04 PM
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lmoore Offline OP
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That is why I was interested in them...the free aspect. It's also kind of fun to collect them. I am experimenting with them in a small pond near my house to see if they take on to pond life well. The predator numbers in the pond are very low and should have very little effect on the minnow population so I could see how they adapted to pond living. I added about 200 1-2" fish this weekend alng with a few bigger "brood fish." Hopefully, they take to the pond environment well.

lmoore #167336 06/07/09 09:19 PM
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I have been experimenting with several species from the wild. There are many more forage fish than just fatheads and golden shiners. The brassy minnow seems to be more of a stream fish but a couple sources I read said they will adapt to pond life... I couldn't find any info on their spawning habits. That is usually the limiting factor for most forage fish in ponds, a lack of suitable spawning requirements. Are you sure the species you are catching is the brassy minnow? There are several other more common species that look similar to them in Iowa? Could you take a picture of a few and post them on here? I'd love to see some!

CJBS2003 #167338 06/07/09 09:21 PM
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Also, another poster on here Adirondack Pond would probably be interested in brassy minnows. His pond is highly acidic and if this species is acid tolerant, it may be just the ticket. I see their native range includes northern NY...

CJBS2003 #167345 06/07/09 09:39 PM
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Brassy minnows typically spawn in shallow water among vegetation scattering eggs on leaves and stems. Maximum length is 3.75" and life span is 4 yrs if they are not eaten first. Thye should do well in a pond if vegetation is plentiful. Good forage fish with a similar top end size the the fathead.
A picture of some would nice to see. Post it or email it.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/07/09 09:39 PM.

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I can't say that I am 100 percent sure that they are Brassy Minnows, but thats what they looked like to me. I will post some pictures of the little guys later this week when I get a chance to go get some.

lmoore #167412 06/08/09 12:46 PM
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Looking forward to seeing the pics...

CJBS2003 #167500 06/08/09 10:11 PM
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I got stuck playing some golf after work today but I'll get some tomorrow.

lmoore #167537 06/09/09 07:40 AM
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They look a LOT like FHM to me.



Here are some fatter ones:



Last edited by bobad; 06/09/09 07:42 AM.
bobad #167562 06/09/09 10:32 AM
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That is the problem with most minnow species, they all look VERY much alike to the untrained eye. Creek chubs, bluntnose minnows, spottail shiners all have the dark over light color scheme and then have a dark line running down their side. Usually its mouth shape and form, slight color differences and then when it really comes down to it, scale counts and other more scientific methods... Paintings when it comes to minnow species often just don't hack it IMO. Photographs are of a much higher value.

CJBS2003 #167630 06/09/09 05:00 PM
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Hey guys, here are some pics of the minnows. I just had my phone so they aren't real good quality. I will get some better ones with a camera tomorrow afternoon.

Bridge where I catch them. Small backwater next to the abutment on the right.
The only bigger one I caught. About 2 1/2 inches. Has a little bit more of the brassy tint which led me to believe Brassy Minnow.

Nose of the bigger one.

Hope you can get some kind of idea.

lmoore #167631 06/09/09 05:00 PM
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I noticed they seemed to have a little bit longer nose than the Brassy minnow pictures above.

lmoore #167633 06/09/09 05:16 PM
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First fish that comes to mind is a blacknose dace... But the picture quality of the first one isn't the best. Definitely interested in more pictures of a full fish if possible. If it is what I think it is and it is a blacknose dace, they can adapt to pond life but will not reproduce without a source of running water to spawn.

http://www.iowadnr.gov/fish/iafish/bkd-card.html

Last edited by CJBS2003; 06/09/09 05:17 PM. Reason: added link
CJBS2003 #167634 06/09/09 05:23 PM
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You mention the bigger on had a brassy tint. That is most likely a male. The western subspecies of blacknose daces gets a brassy colored side during the spawning season which most likely just ended in your part of Iowa. Blacknose daces are VERY common just about everywhere I have ever collected in small to medium size streams.

Here is a photo of the eastern subspecies. The coloration is slightly different from the western, but should still give you a good idea...


CJBS2003 #167643 06/09/09 06:50 PM
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I think you may be right. I'll get some better pictures, hopefully tomorrow. I also caught a couple other species I am not sure of. One had more of a shiner coloring but was shaped more like the brassy minnows above and one was some type of dace but I wasn't sure of specific species It was more of a dark gray color. I'll try to get one of each of those next time also and see if you can help me identify them. I had not previously collected them from that area so they may not be real common in that stream. Also, do you know of a minnow that gets a red belley (males) during the spawn? They were a fairly bright colored species shaped kinda like some type of Dace or similiar fish.

lmoore #167645 06/09/09 06:59 PM
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Last one might be a red belly dace, but the females did not have red bellies. I milked a few with red and a few without and they were definitely male with female w/o.

Edit: Looking back at the original minnow. I didn't realize that the lateral line went all the way to the snout. I would say definitely not Brassy Minnow. I guess this means I will have to hunt for some now that I have noticed that they adapt to ponds to some degree. I'll still get more pics to make sure.

Last edited by lmoore; 06/09/09 07:06 PM.
lmoore #167657 06/09/09 08:40 PM
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Yeah, take photos of what ever species you catch and I or others who are good with fish ID will help you out. There are several species that work great as forage for ponds. Most species caught in streams can survive in ponds, they just cannot reproduce. A few are equally happy in ponds as they are in streams...

CJBS2003 #167669 06/09/09 09:50 PM
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Ever tried to simulate a stream environment in part of your pond to see if the stream minnows reproduce? I ask because I know of a pond nearby that recieves drainage from a large and has an almost constant flow in the spring. This spring, I witnessed several minnows going through the spawning motions where the drainage entered into the pond (extremely sandy bottom). I have been toyin with this idea or a while but I don't know what type of velocity is needed for minnow species to spawn. I saw a solar powered pump on Ebay that would make a cool set up, but the highest water velocity I could see getting is around .2 mph. I assume that is too low. This question is for anyone, I just like bouncing potential waste-of-time ideas off people.

lmoore #167674 06/09/09 10:02 PM
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I have done that with koi/goldfish ponds. I have successfully spawned several species of "stream" fish using that method. It was be interested to try that with a larger earthen fishing pond. Perhaps build a stream using a pond liner and then cover it with rocks of various sizes and sand. Run a large pump that pumps water from the pond to the top of say a 20 to 30 feet "stream". Fish needing that type of habitat to spawn could ascend the man made "stream" to spawn and then head back to the pond when done. The stream could be run from ice out to ice up and the pump turned off during the cold months...

CJBS2003 #167681 06/09/09 10:28 PM
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I was thinking along the same lines. The problem would be cost. I have no idea what a pump with enough get-up-and-go to pump water to the beginning of the "stream" and still have some good flow behind it would cost.

lmoore #167708 06/10/09 07:59 AM
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 Originally Posted By: lmoore
I was thinking along the same lines. The problem would be cost. I have no idea what a pump with enough get-up-and-go to pump water to the beginning of the "stream" and still have some good flow behind it would cost.


I'm wondering what kind of current flow a trolling motor hooked to a 75-100w solar panel would generate.

Last edited by bobad; 06/10/09 07:59 AM.
bobad #167734 06/10/09 10:46 AM
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A $1000 pump would give your a decent enough flow to provide a pretty decent size stream and flow volume.

CJBS2003 #167792 06/10/09 04:52 PM
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I like where the trolling motor idea is going....what did you have in mind for a set up?

A couple more minnows to identify if anyone has time. Got another picture of the Blacknose Dace (nearly positive you were right on that, CJ). For some reason, the picture didn't turn out very well. I took about 6 of them and none turned out. Is the Blacknose Dace related to Chuck Norris/GSF?

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